The family of Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a professor of political sociology and the director of the Ibn Khaldoun Center for Developmental Studies, who is imprisoned in Tora prison, visited him yesterday, as one of the visits permitted by the Prisons Association on the occasion of the October victory. His American wife Barbara said that he was in a good health and high spirits. She added that he was looking forward to October 24 as he had great hopes for the acceptance of his request to stop the implementation of the sentence against him and of being released.
Dr. Ibrahim Saleh, the head of Ibrahim’s defense team, expressed his optimism about approval of the request to stop the execution of the sentence. The Cassation Court will examine the appeal report that was presented by the defense at the December 19 session and will give its final verdict concerning the part that needs summary justice at the October 24 session.
The appeal report pointed out that there was a clear legal contradiction in the charges the court brought against Ibrahim; the court accused Ibrahim of receiving foreign donations without permission, considering that what he had received from the EU was a gift that was to be classified as a donation. Then the court accused him and the other accused of the crime of committing fraud against the EU, although it mentioned that the money was a gift to Ibrahim that the EU no longer had any control over. This applied to the money he had not received when the deal was done. Legally, the crime of fraud has to do only with abusing others’ property. Accordingly, if the court decided that the money became Ibrahim’s property, then the court should order Ibrahim and the rest of the accused to be released.
Also one of the reasons for accepting the appeal lodged against the verdict given by the Supreme National Security Criminal Court, on May 21,2001, is the fact that the Cassation Court decided that military decrees have nothing to do with modifying enforced laws and have to do only with the cases in which national security is in danger. The court added that if the military decrees were applied to any cases other than national security, they would be invalid.
Since the penalty given as a result of violating the military order was a modification of law 32/1964 of the [Non Governmental] organizations, the military order 4/1992 should not be applied according to the court’s new decision.
Law 32/1964 considers receiving foreign donations without permission a simple felony the sentence for which is six months. On the other hand, according to the military decree, an offender is to be sentenced to six or seven years - which was the sentence given to Ibrahim by the court.